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August 16, 2017 / Heather

Currently…

Reading: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware. I love her writing. Dark, mysterious… The narrator for the audiobook is also wonderful. She narrates all three of the books that Ruth Ware has written. I’m looking forward to more books by Ruth Ware, but I’m not sure when the next one will be because she just released one this year and I don’t know what her release schedule is like. I’m eager. I’m excited. I’m looking forward to books! New writer to love, folks. Her chapters are also short (not quite James Patterson short, but short) so that makes it easy to read her books if you don’t always have much time. Chapter here, chapter there… But you don’t want to read just a chapter at a time. You’re more likely to just keep reading because you want to know what happens next.

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Writing: Well, I’m currently writing this blog post. Ha ha!

No, seriously, I’m not working on anything new right now besides working on a schedule, working on edits for Unexpected Moments, and working on thoughts about a new novel. I’m writing more poetry off and on because I want to finish my current notebook and start on a new one. I’m going to try going back to the old composition notebooks. I kind of miss those and it gives me more space to write in.

I’m really enjoying using Google Docs to edit. I’m likely going to use that to write my NaNoWriMo novel in this year. Kind of excited. I’m thinking not changing between Word and Docs is going to be a little easier for me.

Listening: To the audiobook for the above mentioned book (if you hadn’t guessed). After that I’m going to be listening to The Gunslinger by Stephen King After that it’s going to be The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson. I’m not really sure about this one though. We’ll see when I get to it. I did recently listen to Crazy House by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet which was utterly brilliant. If you get a chance, READ IT!!! It’s exciting, thrilling, mysterious, painful, and draws you in like you wouldn’t believe. I left my hard copy with my best friend before I left her house because the thing is so damn good she’s got to read it when she gets a chance. And I’m pretty notorious about leaving her books that she needs to read. “Hey I’m throwing this book at you because you need to read it.” is something pretty common between the two of us.

Have a good one folks. I’m looking forward to getting some writing in here. We’ll see how much I actually get done because I got home later than expected. *sigh* Peace.

~Heather/Razor/Shavor

August 9, 2017 / Heather

Player Ready

So, I’ve been listening to an audiobook lately. Not that that’s anything new to begin with, but the book I’m listening to isn’t something I’d probably have picked up on my own.

RPO

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune — and remarkable power — to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved — that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt — among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life — and love — in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

Like I said, not something I would normally read own my own. Catfish recommended this book to me though and he’d been on me to read it for some time. Well, one night I had an extra credit on Audible and nothing that sounded good which is usually when I look at him and ask what I should use it on.

Currently as I’m writing this I’m about halfway through the book.

I started listening to it at the end of last week.

The cover is weird and it took me a long time to really take a close look at it. Wil Wheaton narrates the audiobook and he’s awesome at narration. I think I rambled enough about him in my last blog, so I won’t do that again here. ❤

I got some nice writing done last weekend and I’m hoping to get more done this weekend. We’ll see where I get before Saturday ends. Sunday I’m aiming to have as a day of rest. And I just realized that Saturday I have plans which doesn’t sound weird to some of you, but to me sounds totally bizarre. Usually my Saturday plans (when there are any) don’t happen until the evening, but I have like… Full day plans for Saturday. Luckily I have mobile versions of my story and I can play around with it. And unlimited data so YAY for that!

Back to the book.

If you’re looking for something good to read that’s got a different flavor, check this one out. The main character is relatable, especially if you’re a nerd/geek. And sorry to those who hold a hard difference between the two, but I often use them interchangeably.

Peace for now all.

~H. R. Shavor

August 2, 2017 / Heather

Unexpected Thoughts

I’ve been working on my story Unexpected Moments, and doing so has brought up some unexpected thoughts. Yeah, yeah, I know my jokes suck. Oh well!

One day I spent some time at my local library and instead of editing what I THOUGHT I was going to, I ended up deleting a number of pages and REWRITING roughly 10 PAGES then and there!

This is huge for me.

Sunday the 30th I spent the day cleaning and reading. I read through a 400 page book start to finish, read the remainder of a roughly 300 page book, and finished an audiobook that I was listening through Audible.

I know you’ve probably been force-fed Audible ads, but as I’m NOT paid or anything for promoting it maybe this will hit you differently.

The hours I work are odd and I’m lucky that I can listen to things like books or music while I work during certain things. A number of the books that I read are long so they estimate at 24 hours for listening time. One thing I like about Audible is that I don’t have to bookmark anything, it automatically keeps track. There’s a huge selection of books, and there’s always something there that I want to listen to. For less than $20.00 a month I get 1 credit, meaning I can buy one book with that credit and even return it if I don’t like it. I didn’t do a lot of listening there for a while and when there’s a holiday I don’t often do much listening because I’m not at work so I’m usually doing other things like watching TV or movies or reading a physical book. My reading schedule of sorts is really weird, I’m well aware of that.

Anyway, I’ve ended up with a few books ready to listen to so sometimes I have the issue of trying to figure out which book I want to listen to at that very moment. For instance, when I finished World War Z on Sunday I had the choice of “The Book of Life”, “In a Dark, Dark Wood”, “Ready Player One”, and “The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.”. Instead of starting a new book I continued listening to the book “The Book of Life” book 3 in the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness. It’s a decently long book and I really like the trilogy, but there are parts that aren’t as interesting as others so I feel welcome to do other things. But when I get into a book usually I keep with it. Maybe I listened to the other two books too quickly like I ended up doing with the Harry Potter series when I reread and finished it… Who knows. I don’t care either way. I’m happy listening to something. I can also sync Audible with Kindle because they’re the same information so that makes life REALLY easy when I have the Kindle format and the audiobook format so if I want to read the book instead of listen to it then it’s as easy as opening the Kindle book and waiting for it to sync itself.

Welp, back to writing Unexpected Moments for me! 😀

~Heather/Razor/Shavor

July 19, 2017 / Heather

Focus

My writing is standing still.

I don’t know if it’s because I don’t feel like I have my footing yet after the fire or if it’s because of everything happening ing all at once, but my writing is standing still.

Whenever I try to work on my story it’s like I can do anything but focus and then darkness comes in. Not like suicidal thoughts or thoughts like my work is t good enough. Just actual darkness comes into my mind. Think storm clouds.

I tried to write a poem today in a few moments at work. The words didn’t want to come out.

All I want to do right now is work on my story and get things done and it feels like everything is against me for that. I don’t currently have a dedicated space I can go, I don’t have writing group every week…

I feel like I’ve lost a lot of myself lately. And I don’t like how that feels. I’m still debating a thought I posted in a deviantArt journal asking do I type my poems up or submit pictures of the pieces I write and get things out faster. Seriously leaning on the picture option. Also gives me a shame reason to write slow enough that my writing looks good and not like slop it usually does.

My mind is foggy right now as I’m about to head to bed after typing this up and part of that is my writing issues and part of that is because I finished the latest Dan Wells novel Nothing Left to Lose which is the last John Cleaved novel which makes me terribly sad. The series is wonderful.

Something just doesn’t feel right at the moment and I don’t know what I can do to make it right again… I’ll get there some time.

~Heather/Razor/Shavor

July 12, 2017 / Heather

X3

If any of you grew up like I did or you were from at least one generation older than me you’re probably familiar with the old saying “bad things come in threes”. If not, you’re about to be.

So a couple weeks before there was a fire at my workplace a local restaurant (I say local but it was a chain, just very few left) had been badly burned. Friday while my workplace was closed I took my mom grocery shopping because I normally do that on Fridays. While getting groceries out of my car a neighbor pulled up and we got talking. Mind you, she was a friend of the family and my former 5th grade teacher. She used the phrase of bad things coming in 3s so we kind of wondered what was next.

It didn’t take long to figure out…

Saturday I took Catfish to work and came back home to get more sleep. I hadn’t slept super well and I wanted and needed rest. Well, my mom called me and woke me up. She’d gone to run errands that she and I didn’t do because she forgot my dad worked Saturday and was going to have him take her. When she came back she saw emergency vehicles at the neighbor house. The one who I spoke with Friday…

Her husband died roughly a quarter past 11 that morning.

So I know I’m weird and I know I’m quirky, but be careful what you say. Yes, he was in his 70s and had heart issues, but still.

I’m gonna miss that man. I looked up to him and even though I didn’t see him frequently it seems weird to think that I won’t hear mom complain that he mowed so everyone is mowing now or that I won’t see him in the garden or something…

We have been adjusting things at work and it’s working so far. I’m enjoying being in a different building that I’m almost never in and I’m enjoying seeing people again.

I’m not so much enjoying that I’m behind on Camp NaNo because I’m stuck as well as because I lost focus with the fire and everything.

I feel like a bad writer…

That’s all for now, folks. I hope peace is with you, because I don’t think it’s been with me as of late.

~Shavor 

July 5, 2017 / Heather

Fire Howl

This will be a very different type of post. There is something major that happened recently that I can’t go into details about.

I worked Saturday July 1st with two cool people. At approximately 2:30 AM on Sunday, July 2nd, there was a fire at my workplace that has caused extensive damage. The building will eventually reopen, but that, from personal guess, will be a long time coming. I was called Sunday to come in and I was also called Monday. I can’t share details, but even according to news reports the state fire marshal does not think it to be arson. There is a lot of pain currently with everything. My job is safe. We have other buildings that were not touched by the fire at all. Our main building did not have fire damage to the historic 1910 building.

Before I say too much that will be all about the fire, at least for now.

Camp NaNo has started and we have a few days under us so far. I’m behind, but I managed to get the last pages marked with edits and I can start on the actual rewrites. So far the new phone is working out very well and I’m hoping to not have issues with the rewrites since I’m getting used to the phone now. I still make mistakes with it, but that’s going to happen off and on anyway.

I’m still working on my story Unexpected Moments. I’m still happy with it. Cringed a bit at the corrections I need, but I’m happy with it.

I’m also watching Howl’s Moving Castle for like the millionth time. I love this movie and I find Howl to be drastically beautiful. Peace everyone.

~Shavor

June 29, 2017 / Heather

Convention

So on the 24th I was in Chicago for the ALA Annual Conference. This was awesome for several reasons including getting to meet Gene Ambaum of both Unshelved and The Library Comic which are two aqesome webcomics about libraries. I git my picture taken with him. He’s a total sweetheart! I also got some awesome stuff both bought and given away. It was a work trip so I got paid, and it was a day with some awesome co-workers. Not awesome is the fact that I’m now sick coughing my head off and can’t breathe through my nose. Two coworkers have labeled it as Con Crud which is very likely as there were probably over a 1000 people there.

These are just some of the books. The very bottom one that you can’t see too well is not from the conference though. So excited. My job rocks.

In other news I have been playing with Google Drive/Docs and yes there is a word count feature! Woot woot! Even better is Catfish and I got new phones. It’s been the month of new phones at work. His phone kept dying on him (we’re talking maybe an hour of usable time with a 100% charge) and mine only had the issue of getting really warm when used for prolonged periods of time. He had been asking me about updating for a long time but I thought both our phones were fine. After I paid the bill I was looking at how upgrades work and what not and asked him a few questions and then we decided it couldn’t hurt to stop by the store and ask and we ended up trading in our old phones and got a lot of money towards new things, updated our service, and ended up with an unlimited everything plan. I asked about increasing data because Catfish watches YouTube all the time on his phone so when our internet goes out which is kind of often these days it eats our data. For months we’ve paid overage charges because of this. Thank goes they brought back unlimited data! No more worries about going over. I am, however, terrified to see the next few bills before things are balanced out again.

We both got the Samsung S8+. I had wanted the Google Pixel XL because I’m a big Google user any more but that would have taken months to get in and these were in stock. Our cases are different and the phones themselves are different colors so if they are out of the cases we can still tell them apart without looking at the lock screens.

Because my desktop has been kind of dead for a while and I haven’t had ti.e to talk to someone about looking at it and I’m more mobile now anyway I’m hoping to move to doing a fair bit of my writing through my phone. My phone is silver and my case has glitter in it that flows because it’s in with liquid and it looks absolutely girly and shiny and awesome. Catfish finally got a tablet (something hes been wanting for a while) and it’s on our plan so omg he can use it to probably find his phone if he loses it! He’ll still be able to text me from it either way so we’re good.

Not much other than that. Figured since I’m currently sick I’d take the time to post since I hadn’t put a post out Wednesday.

Here’s to feeling better, posting more regularly, and writing more!

~Shavor

June 21, 2017 / Heather

Impending Camp NaNoWriMo

So July is coming very quickly and with July comes another round of Camp NaNoWriMo. With another round of Camp NaNo comes another attempt to continue edits on my story Unexpected Moments. Yes, I rather like that title and I think I’m going to stick with it.

In other news I’m wary about it and with all the changes and struggles I’m having with sitting down at my laptop or any computer that’s not for work and/or work related means I’ve started thinking more towards NaNoWriMo 2017 coming this November. (Which is also the month Catfish and I are getting married, Lord help us. See details further down.)

With the coming NaNoWriMo in November and knowing I won’t have a ton of time and everything else that’s happening and the fact that I don’t know what all is going to be happening and that I’m hoping maybe I’ll have a different phone before then (or God knows when or if I’ll get one) I’m toying with the idea of writing it completely mobile. This would mean me using Google Docs/Drive because I use an Android phone and I don’t plan on switching to iPhone ANY time soon if EVER in my life. I like them as devices and I own an iPod Touch, but I honestly don’t like it as a phone. I will help people learn them and you can bet your arse that I’m going to read everything I can on the devices because of my job and the fact that my parents currently have iPhones and I’m their go-to tech support. (One of these days I’m going to get a phone call and use an Indian accent to mess with them.)

My only current issue with this is the fact that I don’t know if I’ll be able to read the word count in progress or if I’ll have to toy around with that and figure something out with it. I’m also going to have to be careful because if it’s going to use data and our internet goes out there goes the story. Sure, it’d be easy to pull up my computer or something and type away into another document NOT using the internet, but that could also pose a problem itself.

Wedding plans are kind of coming along. The whole Lord help us thing is because we have my dress ordered and it’s going to get here like a month and a half before the wedding and while we have our officiant booked we haven’t sat down with him and figured out the vows and everything. We haven’t talked to ANYONE about a cake or cupcakes yet though we know who we would like to have do it and I’m going to make that a Catfish job for this weekend because I’ve got a lot of plans and he only has a few and since I’m going to be working while he has several days off I’m going to put him to work. Bwahaha! If I’m left in charge of everything else he’s going to get a chore list. >:)

We have a few other things in the works. We know about the main food thanks to my parents help, and his parents are working are booking the venue because his mother kept asking me a lot about what she could do because she wanted to help out and bless her for asking me so much because it finally made me cave or else I don’t know where we might be having this thing. XD

I’m focusing more on the fact that my uncle from halfway across the country is going to be back home for the first time in like 10+ years and NOT for a freaking funeral this time.

I DID, however, have a breakdown Monday night because I saw a sock that Catfish has that my grandma had a pair just like and that reminded me of the discussion of Bridal Showers that Catfish’s mom and I had and how neither of my grandmothers is around and I’m jealous of my cousin who got to have my grandma at her wedding and how there was a major inside joke and how I’ll never get to have that. Yeah, I cried over that.

There are a lot of things I wish my grandmothers were still around for. I wish my mom’s mom got to see me grow up. I wish my dad’s mom was still around because there are times I’d like to ask her for guidance on different things and she was a librarian so I’d love to discuss things with her and get her insight and see how thing have changed and what changes we could be making today that they couldn’t back then and so on. I’d love to sit down and talk with her about the things I do at work and hear about what it was like for her back then and listen to what all she used to do. Gods do I ever wish she’d kept a diary of some sort so I could read it. Even now, 5 years after her death, I can still hear her voice plain as day and that kills me a little inside.

WOW that got a lot darker than I thought it was going to. A lot darker than I meant for it to. Sorry guys. My mood is all over the place. I’m really nervous and excited about something that’s going to be happening Saturday. I’ll be attending something for work and I’m really excited because I enjoy hanging out with a number of the people who are going to be on the trip. I’m kind of sad because someone from the local library to me isn’t going and I’d love if she was but she probably has other obligations and such.

I might practice blogging from my phone for a while, so we’ll see how that goes and get used to writing on my phone. If that doesn’t work I might try using a tablet setup of some sort, but for now, phone is the way I’m going to be going. Maybe before Camp NaNo I can look into things with Google Docs/Drive and see what I can find out on the wordcount front. If you know anything about Google Docs/Drive feel free to drop me a message or comment. I’d love to discuss things with you. I’d love for any outside communication from people because I swear the only people I talk to now are through work or Catfish or family. O.o My life is getting weirder and weirder and my stories might start exploring how to meet people.

For shits and giggles I wrote this whole post within half an hour and while wearing a Catfish hat because it was nearby and I’m writing while he’s in the shower. It feels so good to just sit and type away on the keyboard now. I absolutely love it. We got a new computer to replace one of the ones at the desk at work and one of our other ones is getting replaced this week and I’m excited about that, but it also makes me want to NOT type up there as much but at the same time it makes me ONLY want to sit there and practice typing at those computers because I need to get used to those keyboards and I hate feeling like I can’t type well because that inhibits my job and how well I can help our users.

It always comes down to how well I feel I can help people.

Peace for now everyone.

What are you working on right now? What do you hope to be working on later this year?

~Shavor

June 7, 2017 / Heather

The Pheasant Affair

Somewhere around a month ago (after our Sadie girl died), we’d bought more plastic cups (we use a lot of these so we buy the big bag). Well… We also bought a case of water at the same time while grocery shopping.

And made the mistake of thinking they were out of Gus’ reach when they weren’t…

Apparently my dog like to EAT plastic cups and water bottles.

No, I don’t mean chew up, I mean EAT them. There were a lot of bits on the floor, but not enough to make up like 20 cups and at least 4 bottles.

The problem? Besides him eating things he’s not supposed to there’s the issue of him not playing with actual dog toys I got him when we first got Gus.

So while at the store a couple of weeks later I found a toy that’s essentially a water bottle of some sort wrapped in para cord in the shape of a pheasant.

Gus is normally terrified of anything that makes noise. But he likes the crinkle of water bottles and cups. About a week after finding the thing I caved and bought it, hoping it would be something he’d actually play with.

That night it ended up in his bed with him and it looked like he was spooning the pheasant.

Catfish witnessed this and did not get a picture. I was sleeping at the time.

Not quite a week later we found something hilarious. Catfish put Gus on his outside lead and we noticed that the pheasant was not in Gus’ bed with him, but that it had the inside lead wrapped around it’s neck.

Conclusion?

Gus and the pheasant had a lovers spat and Gus strangled it.

OR

Gus and the pheasant had a lovers spat and Gus hired Tim (Timba, the cat) to kill the pheasant.

Either way it was hilarious and this is my life, so yeah.

~Heather/Razor

May 31, 2017 / Heather

One of My Duties…

Sorry, this is going to be more of a post about work than about MY works, but they’re connected, so it works for me.

One of my assigned duties at work involves a lot of steady typing. Like tying for an hour solid on a keyboard that isn’t a keyboard I would ever use on my own but I’m not one to complain about a keyboard that works that’s worked for a long time.

Solid hour Thursday of JUST. TYPING.

Solid hour Friday. of JUST. TYPING.

I had a 3-day weekend this weekend.

I wanted to get some writing done. Poems. By hand.

I had typed up a poem last week one night while lying in bed because I was restless and I knew if I didn’t get that poem out of my head right then that I wouldn’t be able to remember it later. This always bothers me when I’m trying to create new material.

Now, at home or with a keyboard I’m used to that is ergonomically correct for me I can type for HOURS on end without EVER feeling any sort of pain. The one I use at work at that particular desk is not one of these. So my wrists hurt after I type for a solid hour on it. Catfish went out with some friends to listen to some music and I went out to dinner by myself thinking it would be a nice change of pace and that maybe I could get some neat inspiration for a few poems to jot down while waiting for food or maybe even get the poem I typed the other night written into my notebook (because I like having handwritten copies, judge me all you want for that. I. LIKE. BACKUPS.) So I decide to start with copying the typed poem to see if I could really write at that table and with the different noise around me.

Answer: I CAN write with the varying noises around me. I CAN’T write more than one piece after having typed at almost my normal speed for an hour just hours earlier on that keyboard.

It just can’t happen.

So I’m debating talking to someone there because that’s a shared desk and if I’m using it for so many hours and other people are going to be using it more it should probably be more comfortable and there are ways to do so that won’t take much time.

[From Friday night] So I’m probably going to overdo it tonight because I DESPERATELY want to get something new written AND I want to copy over some pieces I wrote during an event at my local library on Tuesday. One that I’m wary on because I don’t care much for it but the other two I actually like quite a bit and I got compliments on them during the program.

I’m also needing to frame a couple of things because I have copies of both the article announcing the winners of the Snowbound Writer’s Contest AND the article from the reception with the picture of the winners who were there (all but one person). I’m actually proud of this accomplishment because it feels like I’ve actually DONE something this year with my writing instead of just writing things or editing things.

Speaking of, I need to go through and read the things that were submitted to the last issue of an online magazine that I learned about back in 2011 that is still going fairly strong. I now also want to re-read a book of poems a former professor of mine published that I read and then loved so much that I HAD to buy a copy of. Note: This professor won the Poet Laureate award for my state a couple years ago and that is a HUGE honor. He’s an awesome person and so is his wife. I actually follow him on facebook and he shares some interesting things.

Anywho, I think that’s enough of this for right now. The post is longer than I meant it to be at first (which seems to happen when I don’t have a particular topic in mind until I sit down and just start typing away at the keyboard, doesn’t it…) so I’ll end here. Its storming outside which means I’m kind of peaceful right now and it’s a GREAT time for me to get some writing done. Or at least try to get some writing done if my wrists will let me.

I hope they will…[End from Friday]

I was able to get some things written down Friday night and got a fair few pieces written between Saturday and Sunday among all the cleaning that happened and helping Catfish get the grill started and helping him unbury the mower from our shed. I also got a good bit of reading done over the weekend, but not as much as I was hoping to get done.

~Heather/Razor